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Music for another life by Kristina Marie Darling and Max Avi Kaplan reviewed at Pank by Anne Champion

 

[REVIEW] Music for another life, by Kristina Marie Darling and Max Avi Kaplan

music

BlazeVOX Books
77 pages, $18.00

Review by Anne Champion

Kristina Marie Darling, already an accomplished poet in her own right (she’s published sixteen poetry collections), has begun paving a new trail with her foray into collaborative writing. Her previous collaborations work alongside poet Carol Guess, but her newest work, Music for another life, collaborates with the accomplished visual artist and scholar, Max Avi Kaplan, and the finished product is a brilliant and moving piece of art. The cover, featuring a Marilyn Monroe look-a-like donned in Jacqueline Kennedy inspired attire, chillingly depicts a woman laying in grass in a corpse pose, and this image foreshadows what’s to come: stunning, delicate beauty that adheres to societal standards juxtaposed with hauntingly devastating realities.

The narrative, composed solely of short prose poems, follows a speaker named Adelle as she traverses her lavish landscape in heels, swanky sunglasses, and pencil skirts. Each page features a different picture of Adelle—either standing outside of her domestic sphere or lounging in nature. The work of light and shadow in these photographs speaks volumes to the Adelle’s search for self and inability to find it, either from being blinded, outshined, or blurred into unrecognizablity. Some of the poses only vary slightly, so you can flip through the pictures quickly and watch Adelle move as if she were an animation. Regardless of the various ways you can look at and interpret the images, the most important thing they do is immerse the reader in a very real and detailed world: paired with the poetry, it’s hard not to empathize with the character while also feeling as trapped and suffocated as she does, despite the fact that she clearly frolics in an upper class status. Maybe even because of it.

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Vow by Kristina Marie Darling reviewed in TCJWW

 

VOW BY KRISTINA MARIE DARLING

VowVow
by Kristina Marie Darling
BlazeVOX, 2013
ISBN: 978-1609641603
62 p.p.

Kristina Marie Darling sets the imagination ablaze in her newest work Vow. With a chorus of dark melodies, words come as beautiful colors, gripping scenes happen in mere words, and the haunting promise of the vow becomes exposed. This absorbing collection creeps down the corridors of the mind, illuminating the spaces that a broken vow leaves behind.

“So we bury our vows one by one. We are pieces of an altar collapsing from the inside.” Writing in a coolly detached rhythm, Darling’s understated voice takes hold of each moment, “I dream another me exists in the burning house, reading aloud from what I have written.”

A collection that sits a little more on the unconventional side, what’s especially enjoyable is the meaningfully placed white space and text placement. The non-traditional format supports the creative power of the book and even inspires thought on the concept of the imagination as a whole. Consider that the expectations we have for something—someone—are rooted deeply in our imagination. Darling meditates on just that, using media as metaphor for the way our minds idealize such a commitment:

I had always imagined the day would look like: velvet backdrop
onto which the landscape is projected like a sad film.
Somewhere in that picture, a declaration.


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Kristina Marie Darling, Interviewed and Reviewed!

 

Hurray! Kristina Marie Darling has a lot of media out there this week. Have a look and be sure to check out all of her book on BlazeVOX [books]

 

+ A new interview about her book, Vow, at The California Journal of Women Writers:

 http://tcjww.org/2014/01/29/interview-kristina-marie-darling/

 

 

+ A new review of Music for another life at American Microreviews and Interviews:

 http://www.americanmicroreviews.com/#!kristina-marie-darlings-music-for-anoth/cke1

 

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BrUSHES WITH by Kristina Marie Darling Reviewed in The Rumpus

 Brushes with

BRUSHES WITH BY KRISTINA MARIE DARLING

REVIEWED BY 

Kristina Marie Darling’s latest collection of writing —her tenth!—takes as its premise the notion that every love story is, to quote David Foster Wallace, a ghost story; what we know and understand about our lovers is inevitably comprised of wispy half-truths and sensations, ones not so much acknowledged as intuited, felt.

At its core Brushes With depicts a romantic unraveling; “Cartography,” the first poem in the collection, begins, “We were no longer in love. The sky, too, was beginning to show its wear. A silk lining could be seen through every slit in the dark green fabric ” (13). From that opening, then, the details and figurations of the speaker’s relationship with her former paramour slowly shape into focus, maneuver into place. What was once idyllic and ideal is now tarnished beyond repair; all that is left of the speaker’s relationship with her lover is a perplexing sense of foreboding. In the poem “Feminism” Darling asks, “What is love but a parade of memorable objects, a row of dead butterflies pinned under glass?” (20). Elsewhere, in “Martyrdom,” she writes, “I never imagined love as a cause for suicide. But there we were, surrounded by all of the tell-tale signs: a breadknife, a withered corsage, a white dress with some ruffles along the bottom (30). Simultaneously sorrowful and beatific, ponderings of the aforementioned nature pervade throughout the entire collection.

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Many BlazeVOX connections in the new issue of Galatea Resurrects

  

Hurray, the new issue Galatea Resurrects has just been released. We have a list of BlazeVOX books that have been reviewed and featured. Do have a look at
 
 
 
 
Mary Kasimor reviews THE  PINK by Jared Schickling
 
 
CHELTENHAM  and APPARITION POEMS, both by Adam Fieled
 
 
Eileen Tabios  engages THE  UNFINISHED: BOOKS I-VI by Mark DuCharme
 
 
Eileen Tabios  engages BIG  BAD ASTERISK* by Carlo Matos
 
 
Tom Hibbard  reviews BLAME  FAULT MOUNTAIN by Spencer Selby

 
 
Allen Bramhall  reviews GRADUALLY  THE WORLD: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS 1982-2013 by Burt  Kimmelman
 
 

THE CRITIC WRITES  POEMS

Mary  Kasimor
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Photos on flickr